More flavour in your freeze dried meal...
I'm sure most of us have tasted a freeze dried meal before, they are light weight and easy to prepare but often the taste is less than ideal. There is no reason why eating a freeze dried must be a chore, with a few choice additions you can make it into food worth savouring.
|Jon at Mid Robinson Hut, 2015, with freeze dried meal in hand|
Freezer bag or freeze dried?
|Enjoying some freeze dried Spaghetti Bolognaise at Hawdon Hut, 2014|
The advantage of freeze dry meals is their low relative weight (less than 200gms) and the ease of preparation which negates a whole lot of mess and bother at the end of a long day.
Some notes regarding freeze dried tramping meals
|A Backcountry Cuisine freeze dried meal|
Both companies produce a range of 1 and 2 serve meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner items. People will often tell you these rival products are different, i.e. one is better than the other, but in reality I cannot tell them apart.
|One of the Outdoor Gourmet Company meals|
A note on serving size
|Dried potato powder: great by itself, as a thickener or to bulk up meals...|
Adding extra taste to your freeze dried meal
Salt, pepper, herbs and spices
|Salt n' Pepper alright!|
Why not make a "spice tin" like the one in the photo below...I'm making one myself.
|Small spice tin of a US hiker- from Equip2survive.com|
Remember weight is important and a little goes a long way with spices; don't go overboard.
Tomato ketchup/sauce/HP is probably the most obvious type, a small takeaway sachet added to dehydrated tomato dishes will maximise the tomato flavour. I use the McDonald's packets because you always get a fist full of them with your McD's meal and never use them.
Tomato paste sachets can also be used but the flavour is a lot stronger.
|Good old Mickey D's ketchup!|
Tabasco hot sauce will give your meal a hefty kick, it is especially good in stews and casseroles adding complexity to the taste as well as heat. I have a supply of miniature Tabasco bottles brought from an Asian food market but you can decant your hot sauce of choice into a lightweight plastic container.
|Muoc Nam or fish sauce I use|
Nuts & dried fruit
|A selection of nuts for hiker meals|
A handful of dried fruit is a traditional essential in any North African inspired meal including tagines, lamb cassolets and any cous cous based meal. Think raisins, sultanas, dates, dried apricots....
|Ocean Spray craisins...|
|Dried Shiitake Mushrooms|
|Preparing vegetables for the dehydrator|
Onions and garlic will last a long time in your pack. Do not go overboard with the vege's as the fresh varieties are heavy to carry.
|Jack Links Jerky is a good source of protein|
|A local brand of Olive Oil|
A tablespoon of oil added to a freeze dry can make that meal more unctuous as fat is one of the elements the freeze drying process removes.Carry it in a well secured small plastic bottle stored in an outside pocket as it will make a real mess if spilled inside your pack.
|A coconut milk powder available in New Zealand|
Coconut cream powder is especially good for those who are Lactose intolerant as well as going well with Asian style meals. Make sure you add enough water to reconstitute the powder correctly.
What about crackers?
|Leave some crackers for that tramping dinner...|
What about some practical examples?
|BCC Chicken Tomato Alfredo with added olives and tomatoes|
|One of the OGC meals|